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John Travolta’s Iconic Roles
“Welcome Back, Kotter”
The lovable lug launched Travolta’s career as a teen heartthrob.
“Boy in the Plastic Bubble”
This role neither exploited his angelic looks nor was expected of a young TV star with leading man chops.
“Saturday Night Fever”
The white suit. The dance moves. Pushed the disco movement into the mainstream.
What girl didn’t want this dreamy greaser as a boyfriend?
All over America, mechanical bull-riding in honky tonk bars and line danc- ing became de rigueur after everyone swooned over Bud at Gilley’s.
Travolta was persuaded to dance again on film, but his hitman was deadman perfection.
A mix of comedy and crime, Palmer was cool and funny.
Sean Archer/Castor Troy
John Woo exploited Travolta’s mix of menace and vulnerability but it’s the literal face-off with Nicolas Cage that stuck after the credits rolled.
2007 (New Line)
It was a risk: sing and dance in fatsuit drag — in a role originated by Divine — but Travolta rose the challenge.